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User talk:Mark/Archive2005

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Hey, so, have you stuck around to see the messages projected on the Jet d'Eau at night? --Evan 14:20, 9 Dec 2003 (PST)

Back in the states?[edit]

Hey, are you back in the states? If not, what the hell are you doing editing Wikitravel at 5AM Sunday morning? --Evan 23:44, 3 Jan 2004 (EST)

Nope, we stayed in Switzerland this year. Glad we did too, because of all of the traveling hassle, etc. And I´ve already been skiing once! -- Mark 10:34, 5 Jan 2004 (EST)

Admin nomination[edit]

You should check the administrator nominations. --Evan 19:04, 14 Jan 2004 (EST)

French Wikitravel[edit]

Would you like to contribute to the French Wikitravel? -phma 05:32, 15 Jan 2004 (EST)


So, now you're an admin. You should probably log out and log back in so your cookie gets cleared and you get the new privileges. Be careful with anything that looks new, and if you have any questions, let me know. --Evan 15:50, 25 Jan 2004 (EST)

I will try not to break anything.  ;) -- Mark 05:19, 26 Jan 2004 (EST)
The biggest problem I've had is accidentally hitting the "Protect this page" link. It's the only one without a confirmation page that you can back out of. --Evan 12:46, 26 Jan 2004 (EST)
OK. I'll watch out for that... meanwhile, I've got lots of notes from recent trips, and am going to do some regular plain old contributions. -- Mark 17:45, 26 Jan 2004 (EST)

French Wikitravel Expedition[edit]

So, the French localization file is up, if you want to get working on it. I've had a Montrealais friend offer to help out with the Expedition, which will make the magic Fifth Person. Let's get cracking! --Evan 14:24, 5 Feb 2004 (EST)

Ok, you did like me for the vote. But you should vote for someone telling us you think he would be a good go-between. :o) --Pontauxchats 10:53, 9 Feb 2004 (EST)


I proposed a script called Wechselbot. What do you think? -phma 22:05, 22 Feb 2004 (EST)

Seems like an interesting idea. What would the base currancy be? USD? Since I live in Switzerland I guess I would have to vote for CHF... of course Evan and MAJ are in Canada, so they might have a different point of view... ;) Really though if all the script did was to put Xcurrency = USD at the bottom that would probably be fine, especially if it was always marked as a minor edit. -- Mark 01:35, 23 Feb 2004 (EST)
The comment would look like <!--wb:chf/cad--&rt;. The base is USD, because that's what uses as a base; after gathering all the exchange rates, the bot computes the ratios as needed. -phma 08:01, 23 Feb 2004 (EST)
Perhaps we should move this to the Wikitravel:script nominations page. --Evan 08:04, 23 Feb 2004 (EST)
OK -- Mark 09:44, 23 Feb 2004 (EST)

Admin nomination[edit]

Mark, I've just nominated User:Huttite for admin status. Please have a look at Wikitravel:Administrator nominations. Dhum Dhum Akubra 11:06, 24 Mar 2004 (EST)


Thanks for your appreciation! There's more to come, naturally.--Alexwcovington 01:59, 21 Apr 2004 (EDT)

Excellent. I'll be looking foward to it. -- Mark 04:03, 21 Apr 2004 (EDT)


I'm not actually in Minot at the moment, so I can't just go out and take a picture. I have a few lying around on my hard drive at the moment. The best general purpose one is up on the Wikipedia article. In three weeks I'll be back in Minot so I'll be able to do something there. But you remind me... While I'm in Grand Forks I should take some pictures. --Alexwcovington 02:19, 27 Apr 2004 (EDT)


Would you also like to also explain WHY you reverted my changes to Geneva? Right now, your bulleted lists are broken (you have one list for each item due to the use of empty lines in between - very bad html). Arguably, the links may be useful but you'd have to change the policies first. Other guide is other guide... -- Nils 08:55, 27 Apr 2004 (EDT)

I don't really care about the other guides, but vertical white space is important. -- Mark 08:58, 27 Apr 2004 (EDT)
They are also wrong, and a BIG html no-no. See my talkpage, so we do not discuss it in two places. -- Nils 09:00, 27 Apr 2004 (EDT)


Hey! I'm so glad to hear you guys are having a good trip in Paris. You're getting Noema into travelling really, really early! I hope things keep going well. Quick question: did you get your invite? I know you can't come, but we want to make sure Europeans are receiving them. --Evan 13:13, 9 Sep 2004 (EDT)


>deleted the mermaid image, though I don't understand what the copyright problem could be The problem is the danish copyright law. I had to read it a few times to understand the problem. Basicly the heirs of the guy that make the statue formed a company that holds the rigts to make "copies" of the statue. Apparently photos with the statue as the main motive are considered copies. Maybe I didn't do anything wrong. But if someone made a Copenhagen guidebook based on wiktravel under CC-sa they would certainly be sued. See and

-- elgaard 16:01, 2004 Sep 17 (EDT)
It seems US laws are no bette. See Travellers Pub --elgaard 11:30, 13 Feb 2005 (EST)

Thank you for the Welcome[edit]

Thanks for the welcome, I only stumbled into Wikitravel from a remark on Wikipedia:Village Pump and then saw the Brussels entry. I'll adapt and add some of my notes to it. -Wikibob | Talk 17:39, 2004 Sep 19 (EDT)


Is the redirect Paris/18th arrondisement (which redirects to a redirect) some kind of tragic spelling accident? (Also, Paris is looking nice -- future Destination of the Month I think.) -- Colin 22:05, 26 Sep 2004 (EDT)


Thanks for the welcome. -- Rspga49 8:19 September 27, 2004 (EDT)

Paris Again[edit]

Hi there Mark. Glad you like my (fairly random) contributions on Paris - one of my favourite cities (I suspect it may be one of yours also.....!) No real items on my wishlist at the moment - I'll be in Paris myself early December for 4 days in any case - so just be sure and have a good time while you're there. The only thing I was thinking today was that we really need a good public domain map of Paris arrondissements to go with the Paris Districts section - kind of a broad overview of their layout around the city, position in relation to the Seine, etc. Probably need some extra-peripheral items on it as well - St Denis, Bois de Vincennes, Bois de Boulogne, Versailles (?) just to help out. Maybe something like this. No luck so far with my own searches. Have you seen anything, or - with your very admirable map-making skills - maybe you could put a prototype together? (I don't want to make work for you, however..... What software are you using? - Maybe I could try my hand at it?) Pjamescowie 13:44, 9 Oct 2004 (EDT)

Hey Mark, that's a great map of the Paris arrondissements you've put together - that was quick and made perfectly to order! Keep up the good work buddy! (Just two little points: it looks like "Défense" has been spelt incorrectly, i.e. "Défanse" - is this easy to fix? Also, do we need to thumbnail this image? - it looks well-proportioned on my screen compared to the rest of the text, and having to click on it to see the detail could work against convenience comparison with the list of districts..... Hope you don't mind my constructive suggestions....!) Pjamescowie 13:18, 10 Oct 2004 (EDT)
Map's looking good! Just one little thing - you're gonna curse me for this! - but "Défense" is definitely spelt with an "s", not a "c".... (PJC ducks cyber-atlas thrown at his head....) Almost there: it's a great map Mark! Thanks for your efforts.... Pjamescowie 13:58, 10 Oct 2004 (EDT)

Hiya -- I have a list of Paris restaurant cards (even with a few review sentences). Like all my plans, I just need some spare time to type them in! I'll be proud to help represent the meat eaters. Have a great time in Paris. -- Tinfoiled 09:22, 13 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Chinese fonts[edit]

How can I get Chinese fonts and typing working? I'm running KDE 3.0.99 and XFree86 4.2.1. My browser default font is Verdana, and all the letters on my keyboard layout page show up correctly. -phma 19:27, 10 Oct 2004 (EDT)

Sorry about that[edit]

Mark, sorry about that. Normally I don't check mispellings in images but I did those edits in a bit of a rush and that slipped through. --Nzpcmad 15:44, 11 Oct 2004 (EDT)


Hey, Wix looks like just what I need for the second part of StatScript! Now if some of you admins could just rubber-stamp and fill out in triplicate the bureaucracy on Wikitravel:Script nominations... Jpatokal 08:21, 28 Oct 2004 (EDT)

Kathmandu map[edit]

Hey, I gave it a shop and did Kathmandu map.svg. I think the scale is going to make the writing too small-- maybe we crop it below Dubar Square? It's a heck of a city to try and do a map for-- I was there 4 months and still got lost just about every time I went out... Thanks for getting this going! Majnoona 13:38, 28 Oct 2004 (EDT)

Script nominations[edit]

So, for scripts to write to the site, we need to have two admins give a thumbs-up. Can you take a look at the two bots that were recently added to the Wikitravel:script nominations page and give your thumbs-up/down? It'll help us get unstuck. --Evan 17:04, 28 Oct 2004 (EDT)

Virtual hosting[edit]

Dammit I replied to you on Talk:Chiang Mai just as you updated your message to invalidate my reply. Perilous :) -- Hypatia 05:16, 2 Nov 2004 (EST)

No leave the comment as it is, or it will invalidate the followup discussion about edit conflicts! -- Hypatia 05:27, 2 Nov 2004 (EST)

New admin nominees[edit]

So, I just nominated three new people for admin status. Since it takes the approval of two other admins to get one of these nominations approved, I'd appreciate it if you could drop in to Wikitravel:administrator nominations and show your support (or lack thereof). And, yes, this is just a copy-and-paste of the messages I've put on the other admins' talk pages. --Evan 17:17, 9 Nov 2004 (EST)


Mark, your map of Paris looks Great! Your notes on it's creation are also good. I'm going to take a stab at generating some maps myself now...again -- Yosemite 16:19, 10 Dec 2004 (EST)


I generally try and avoid "proper" names for just that reason but sometimes I get it wrong! Putting some sort of indicator would definitely help. From my side, if I have to look at the context of every suspect word it's going to slow me down but I guess that's just the way it is. --Nzpcmad 16:16, 14 Dec 2004 (EST)

Spam on User page[edit]

Thanks for the removal. I have chongqed the base URL. - Huttite 15:38, 12 Jan 2005 (EST)


That must be one hell of a ten line script. Nice! -- Colin 15:52, 4 Feb 2005 (EST)

 use LWP::UserAgent;  
and it all flows from there. Basically loads up his "User Contributions" page and checks for (and hits) any rollback links found. -- Mark 15:56, 4 Feb 2005 (EST)
I was going to write some script like that, after I've fixed one page and realized that this is massive attack. But you were damn fast... ;)
Please tell me if your script work (in general) like
  1. read user contibutions
  2. "follow" (top) link if there is one for the entry (or follow history if there is (top))
  3. "follow" link to display the version before (top) one
  4. "follow" link to edit it
  5. "follow" link to save it
Or is there any easier way to do this (eg. ?action=revert, or so)? I agree that this is not very complicated, but I think it would take me 15 min. up to one hour to write and test it (although I have no skills in perl, so I would use bash or php probably). Thanks. -- JanSlupski 17:49, 4 Feb 2005 (EST)

Ok, I can answer myself now. Admins have additiona rollback link, that saves most of above steps.
BTW. You may consider enhancing your script so it hides vandalism and it's rollback from Recentchanges (see [1]). --JanSlupski 18:13, 4 Feb 2005 (EST)

Yes the "rollback" link is the solution. I didn't realize that that's an admin-only feature. I'm not sure how easy it is to hide stuff from recent changes. I guess I could hide the script's changes by properly declaring it as a bot, but I dunno about the anon user. -- Mark 18:21, 4 Feb 2005 (EST)
Yeah, good job. Thanks so much for doing this difficult work. Bonus points for adding a "rollback all" feature to the User Contributions page for MediaWiki.
Fast question, though: this guy seems to have a serious beef. Do we have any idea what his problem is? --Evan 18:48, 4 Feb 2005 (EST)
I've been trying to figure it out, but so far no luck. The same IP was used by somebody who did some commentary on Vancouver back in January, but it really doesn't seem related. I wonder if it was one of the spammers who created an account.. I recall there were a couple a couple of days ago. -- Mark 19:05, 4 Feb 2005 (EST)

Just so you know...[edit]

You've effectively set mts against thousands of students in an entire school division. your nice little PERL code was basically worthless and does nothing but restrict your own site... how does it feel?

Complaining at Mark for trying to solve a problem he didn't cause demonstrates a severe lack of understanding regarding who actually caused the trouble. -- Colin 13:58, 7 Feb 2005 (EST)
For what it's worth it doesn't restrict anybody or anything. I could have just blocked the IP, but we don't do that since it would be blocking potentially an entire population. The script just cleaned up after a malicious user using the IP, and has no effect whatever on a user from the same IP who, say, just wants to leave a message on this page. -- Mark 14:09, 7 Feb 2005 (EST)


Hey! My daughter was born Jun 24, 2004. About the same age as yours! -- Colin 03:46, 5 Mar 2005 (EST)


you have locked out thousands of kids from your site. ha.

We haven't locked anybody out at all. We're just reverting vandalism. If you make a worthwhile edit it will stay. -- Mark 14:15, 11 Mar 2005 (EST)
Absolutely. I kinda wish we could work out what the problem is -- most of what I've seen has been mass deletions, reverted. If those deletions are supposed to be some kind of "punishment", let's work out the problem and get past this. If you're just testing how WikiWiki works, well, hey -- this is how it works. You can do anything you want, and we can fix it if we don't like it. Now, if you want to make some kind of point, the easiest way to do so is just say it. --Evan 09:50, 15 Mar 2005 (EST)

Thanks for the maps[edit]

Hey, just want to say thanks for the cool looking maps. I tried making a couple a while ago, using gimp and freehand mouse scribbles, and they both sucked horribly.

Also, I your page said "If you've got a trip to one of these planned, bug me and I'll put some time into the article.", well: I'm heading to China later this year (October time), including to Shanghai... *hint hint* :P

Thanx Mark!

New Logo Contest[edit]

Hey Mark, I've just re-jigged the Wikitravel:Logo contest page from 2 years ago.... Time to submit that compass card logo you talked about in the Pub....! Pjamescowie 13:38, 22 Jun 2005 (EDT)


hi, we have wikimedia running, and a user changed 400 pages in 20 minutes.

how can you rollback all these changes at once?

I am not a programmer, but if you can help us here, would be very cool.

thanx, martin

mak_wiki At eunet Dot co Dot at

Be right there.. -- Mark 07:30, 29 Jun 2005 (EDT)
Sorry, but I can't seem to find your site, so I'll try to answer your question. First, this assumes that your wiki software is Mediawiki, and that you are an admin user. You will also need to be sure to use a web browser which has tabs, something like Konqueror or Safari or Firefox.

Go to the "User Contributions" page for the user who made the changes. You should see a bunch of "rollback" links. Right click each of them and choose the menu item "Open in new tab". Once in a while you'll find you have too many tabs open, so take a moment to close them. You should be able to do the whole thing in about 75% of the time it took the vandal to do the vandalism. -- Mark 07:36, 29 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Admin nomination[edit]

I've added an nomination for User:Pjamescowie to become an admin. Please stop by and give your opinion. --Evan 19:44, 2 Jul 2005 (EDT)

Re: who put the stub on the Main Page?[edit]

All of the Caribbean articles on the main page are stubs. -- Colin 14:07, 26 Jul 2005 (EDT)

Thanks for saying hello[edit]


--RandalSchwartz 02:13, 27 Jul 2005 (EDT)

About your logo submission...[edit]

I know it's a bit late to be suggesting changes, but I had some comments you may or may not find helpful:

1) The logo shouldn't jut out on the top and bottom so much, because there is too much whitespace... this may not be a problem, as I'm not sure exactly how which emblems will be used. You've probably considered this already.

2) Totally a personal opinion, but I think the font might be better in a classical looking serif font, like Georgia or something, in black... and in all caps, with the W big and ikitravel in small caps. With that change, the color of the emblem might change to a yellowed color, like old maps, and the borders of the cells made much thinner. You probably don't want to change this, but I'm personally a big fan of antique maps and such, so there's my input.

3) I thought maybe you could complete the top left portion of the compass, complete with less prevalent SW, NW, and NE marks subdued and in the background (not interfering with the text). I know this sort of kills the butterfly like logo design, but I'm not particularly fond of that.

4) Even if you don't make any of the changes above (and I doubt you will because they're somewhat drastic), I suggest instead of showing the two pieces of the compass star seperated from eachother, stick them together (at the corner/center) and then cut a rectangle from the point of the West jut to the point of the East jut, and therein put the text. That way, it will take up less vertical room, it will also make a nice, clean looking border for the text.

I'm sorry I couldn't take the images and edit them myself, but I only became aware of the logo submissions today, and I'm not at my computer until sometime next week. I really like your design, despite what changes I've considered (and I could be wrong, and your logo may be best untouched!), so good luck! I think it will win, and I'm sure if it can be better in some way you can change it once your basic design has won.

Thanks for the comments... I'll take them into account. -- Mark 04:48, 10 Aug 2005 (EDT)


I think your logo submission is now the favourite to win the competition. I was wondering if you fancied having a go at making a version of your compass-star with something like my text logo in as a possible alternative version of your logo, and see what people thought? I'm certainly open to you tearing my logo to pieces and using whichever bits of it might help enhance yours.

Just a thought. :) -- Owl 03:23, 10 Aug 2005 (EDT)

I've been thinking about that all along, and I'm going to give it a go this weekend if I have time. Unfortunately no matter what some folks seem to think real graphic design takes some time.. ;) -- Mark 03:59, 10 Aug 2005 (EDT)

How did you do your Paris maps?[edit]

I just loaded your full Image:Paris.svg into Inkscape and I was totally blown away by the level of complexity and detail in it! (Actually it ate up all the RAM in my machine and I had to wait for the disk to stop swapping to close the window!) The smaller maps of the arrondissements are certainly the best quality cc-licensed maps I have ever seen anywhere on the web, without a shadow of a doubt.

I would love to do a similar (but clearly much smaller, and much less professional, as it'll be a first effort) map for Manchester at some point. I posted a question over at the Mapmaking Expedition but no one seemed to answer me. I'm at a loss where to start. How did you get the layout of the roads for those maps? Did you trace an existing map or satellite photograph? Is there anything illegal about that if I do it? I had a go at tracing over a Google satellite image, and it's really hard but I reckon I could do it with enough time.

Do you have any hints that could make my life easier?

Thanks for your help!

-- Owl 16:43, 17 Aug 2005 (EDT)

The Paris map is all done from a numer of satellite photos. asically I buy one per arrondissment with resolution down to the back-yard shed level. From there I use known street names either by on the ground reconaissence or a map I've bought to label the streets. -- Mark 16:52, 17 Aug 2005 (EDT)
And it's assumed that the layout of the streets in the photos is "public domain" information? Sounds good. Once again, I'll try using Google's satellite imagery for Manchester. I don't suppose there would be anything questionable about using their "hybrid" format to trace, so long as I trace over the positions of the streets in the photo rather than where Google has marked them... Thanks for your help. -- Owl 03:07, 18 Aug 2005 (EDT)
I think I'd avoid doing that since in Britain that sort of data usually comes with copyright constraints. Google's map data, which is included in the hybrid view almost certainly comes from her majesty's ordinance survey, which owns a crown copyright on the data. They make back some of the considerable cost of doing what are called "ground sourcing" on the data by selling it to companies like google and multi-map, and by selling maps in bookshops.
The long and short of is don't use data from Google unless you get express permission. It's better to get a satellite photo and work from that, then do your own reconnaissance on the ground to achieve higher accuracy.
The situation is somewhat better for the USA by the way. For U.S. Maps we can use the Census Bureau's Tiger line data. This data is derived from aerial photos, and is roughly ground checked by the post office. It's not guaranteed to be accurate though the way Ordinance Survey data is.
Hope that helps. -- Mark 03:58, 18 Aug 2005 (EDT)
Erk! Surely if I look at Google data in "Satellite" mode there can't be any copyright data there! I'm seeing the real layout of the streets there, and surely there's not a copyright on that. I'm not sure how I'd get hold of any other kind of satellite imagery without shelling out. :( -- Owl 10:45, 18 Aug 2005 (EDT)
I've been spending about US$32 for each arrondissement of Paris, of which I'm working on the 18th now. Of course I haven't gotten much accomplished with it lately since I've been doing other things. There's a list of providers here.
If you want to find free satellite data try NASA's WorldWind software, which is eerily similar to Google's. I'm pretty sure that since Landsat data is produced by the U.S. Gov it must be copyright free. You can get usually get much better results from photos taken at a lower altitude by airplanes, which is what I've been buying. -- Mark 12:35, 18 Aug 2005 (EDT)